NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday said 92 per cent Covid deaths of in 2022 were among the unvaccinated to stress that the high vaccination coverage in India resulted in reducing the severity of Omicron-led third wave.
Addressing a press conference, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, Lav Agarwal said the case fatality rate in the current wave was just 0.35 per cent, as compared to 1.29 per cent during the second wave-led by Delta variant.
Officials said deaths due to Omicron infections were over 72 per cent less as compared to Delta infection that created havoc in the country last year.
He also said at the beginning of the second wave just 2.1 per cent of the eligible population, which included healthcare and frontline workers, people above 60 and those between 45-59 with co-morbidities were fully vaccinated.
While the first dose has 98.9 per cent vaccine effectiveness in mortality prevention, the figure rises to 99.3 per cent when a person is fully vaccinated, officials said.
“The relentless efforts of healthcare and frontline workers coupled with vaccination coverage have yielded results for effective containment of the recent surge,” Agarwalsaid, adding that it won’t be right to call Omicron a mild variant.
He added that India witnessed a considerably lower number of Covid deaths due to vaccine development, rapid deployment, vaccine acceptance, and wide coverage.
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Director General Dr Balram Bhargava, citing data from India’s Covid vaccine tracker, said in 2022, 92 per cent deaths were recorded in individuals, who were not vaccinated.
He said to arrive at this figure researchers calculated data from 94,47,09,598 individuals of whom 15,39,37,796 were partially vaccinated, 73,98,46,222 who were fully vaccinated and 5,09,25, 580 who were unvaccinated. Officials said three states, Kerala, Maharashtra and Mizoram, contribute to approximately 50 percent of India’s active cases.